New diagnosis, New RX

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Transparent, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Transparent

    Transparent New Member

    Well, the psychiatric hospital called and I guess they're releasing difficult child tomorrow if he continues to do well.

    diagnosis is mood disorder - they won't say anything specific and I gather that's because of his age and that's fine.

    Rx is Risperdal. Never heard of it but apparently they use it a lot. Anyone here familiar with it or had experience with it?
  2. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    We just started that medicine last week. I think it has really made a difference in my son. He isn't as emotional or as agressive. We are going to increase his dosage tonight. It has really helped and I'm hoping the increase will help even more. It also helps him get to sleep easier.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My difficult child 2 was rx'd it in the first grade for aggression. It served him pretty well for a couple of years until his mood disorder morphed into something more complicated.

    The worst side-effect for most is the increased appetite which leads to weight gain. In our case, difficult child 2 was also on a stimulant at the time which balanced out the appetite, so weight gain wasn't an issue during that time.

    You also need to watch out for dystonic reactions which can be caused by any medication in the neuroleptic class that affects dopamine, like Risperdal. It's NOT life-threatening, but it is freaky and scary to see if you're not expecting it or don't know what it is.

    You also need to watch for tardive dyskinesia, which can be permanent. It's usually associated with higher dosage levels, from what I understand.

    Sedation is also a factor, which is why it's usually taken at bedtime for most people. difficult child 2 had a lot of trouble getting going in the mornings.

    Here's the manufacturer's page on the medication:

    Good luck, and I hope it works well for your difficult child! Glad to hear he's coming home soon!
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat hallucinations and distorted thinking. Off-label, it is rxed for anxiety, anger and aggression. Common side effects include sedation and weight gain. Less common side effects include high glucose, high cholesterol, movement disorders (dystonia) and akathisia, an internal and external restlessness that is sometimes mistaken for anxiety.

    Unfortunately, my son had a dystonic reaction and akathisia in his first month of taking Risperdal so we needed to discontinue it. We have since switched to Risperdal's cousin Seroquel, which has helped my son immensely.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My son has tried it as a prn (to use as needed for agression and sleep and mania on top of using mood stabilizers regularly). It sounds like you may be in for a trial of several different medications over a period of time. Don't get discouraged, just try to prepare yourself and husband for it. I say that because if they only have it narrowed down to a mood disorder and they are starting with an AP, it leaves me thinking that this could take some time before they find something that works well. We (my son & I) have been going thru that, too. It is very frustrating sometimes but it is better than doing nothing.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would ask, if it were my son, why they are not prescribing a mood stabilizer before an antipsychotic. There are prescribing guidelines that say for bipolar or mood disorders to rx mood stabilizers, then antipsychotics. And then add medications for ADHD, anxiety, etc....

    Seems to be a trend, using the ap's to treat mood disorder instead of mood stabilizers.

    That being said, my son did very well on risperdal, other than weight gain. It helped with a number of his more aggressive tendencies for a number of years. Being an Aspie, there really isn't a first-line treatment, other than to treat symptoms.

    I hope he does well and the hospital can answer your questions well. Risperdal may be considered a mood stabilizer now - other parents would know better than I.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Actually, it's not uncommon to try an AP first to calm over-the-top behaviors and then add in a mood stabilizer for long-term treatment of a mood disorder. Because APs kick in quickly and MSs can take 6 to 8 weeks for full efficacy, it's helpful to the family to have something on board that addresses unsafe behaviors right away.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I have no experience with that medication myself, ours' is seroquel also right now. I just wanted to wish you luck in moving forward with this. I often find once you have some type of direction it can be helpful.
  9. Transparent

    Transparent New Member

    Thanks ladies. I read up on it this morning but nothing you read is ever as good as hearing from an experienced mom. They want him to start taking it in the mornings but his sleep patterns from weekdays to weekends vary dramatically and he's a tough one to wake up. I'm thinking he'd be better off taking it before bed. Regardless of when he gets up, he always goes to bed at the same time. The nurse said it didn't matter what time of day he took it as long is we were consistent - but she'd ask the doctor. They're starting him out on a very low dose of 0.25. I hope it works.

    I hope our Christmas is uneventful and as normal as possible. I wish the same for all of you as well.

    Merry Christmas
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Good luck with it. Let us know how he does.
  11. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Risperdal worked well for my son as well. It helped with anger, agression and frustration....Eventually due to weight gain and some other issues we switched over to abilify...which is a similar medication.